Read Poetry Central Minnesota, a One Book, Four Counties community poetry read program kicks off its inaugural year by encouraging everyone in Sherburne, Benton, Stearns, and Wright counties to read Bodaga: poems by Su Hwang. Read Poetry Central Minnesota is a program of Lyricality, made possible through a vibrant collaborations of librarians, teachers, book group leaders and readers from central Minnesota. 

About Bodega by Su Hwang

The 2020 Minnesota Book Awards announced on January 25 Bodega is a finalist nominee

Kaveh Akbar writes, “…Bodega is a quarry—mining directly into the immigrant heart, the daughter’s heart, the American heart. Real excavation always rends and breaks and works to bring something new into the light.”

Solmaz Sharif writes “[Su Hwang’s] poems in Bodega are observant and cinematic, tracing the ways our many-languaged lives come up against each other in these united states.”

In Bodega, Su Hwang explores “issues of identity, race, im/ migration, and marginalization within marginalized communities,” care-fully inviting readers to observe the lives of other, to understand “where it hurts.” 

Ray Gonzalez writes that Su Hwang, “weaves story with perception.” And Patricia Smith writers, “What Su Hwang has done is chronicle a small, utterly necessary life as it stumbles toward its root in a world that both abandons and embraces. You will be pulled relentlessly into these stanzas and you will see yourself here.

We hope those who read Bodega will gain insight that allows them to  consider some of today’s most politically divisive topics with deepening awareness and increasing compassion. For more information about this book, go to our recent article “Su Hwang’s Bodega: 7 hints for embarking on the risky adventure of getting into poetry.”

About Su Hwang

Born in Seoul, Korea, Su Hwang was raised in New York then called the Bay Area home before transplanting to the Midwest, where she received her MFA in poetry from the University of Minnesota. A recipient of the inaugural Jerome Hill Fellowship in Literature, the Academy of American Poets James Wright Prize, writer-in-residence fellowships to Dickinson House and Hedgebrook, among others, her poems have appeared in Ninth LetterWater~Stone ReviewWaxwing, and elsewhere. She teaches creative writing with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop and is the co-founder, with Sun Yung Shin, of Poetry Asylum. Su Hwang currently lives in Minneapolis.

Su Hwang author website:

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Central MN Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.